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Normative beliefs and sexual risk in China.

  • Author(s): Li, Li
  • Ding, Ying Ying
  • Wu, Zunyou
  • Rotheram-Borus, Mary Jane
  • Guo, Sam
  • NIMH Collaborative HIV/STD Prevention Trial Group
  • et al.
Abstract

We examined normative beliefs about multiple sexual partners and social status in China and their association with risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Self-reported and biological markers of sexual risk were examined among 3,716 market vendors from a city in eastern China. Men who were older or with less education believed having multiple sexual partners was linked to higher social status. Adjusting for demographic characteristics, normative beliefs were significantly associated with having multiple sexual partners, while having multiple sexual partners was significantly associated with STIs. Normative beliefs regarding sexual behaviors may play an important role in individual risk behaviors. Future HIV/STI interventions must address community beliefs about the positive meaning of sexual risks, particularly among men with traditional beliefs about gender roles.

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